Love is in the air this Valentine's Day, and one local high school even held a wedding ceremony to prove it. 9th graders are not really getting married in the Performing Arts Center at North Forrest High School, they are participating in an exercise to show students how to plan a wedding, and even more so, the importance of a healthy relationship.
Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, Casey Conwill, says she does the exercise to teach the students all the elements of relationships, and even how to plan a wedding. She said,"I Try to get them to understand the value of a relationship. What it means to have true friends, what it means to have someone you can count on."
In Ms. Conwill's Family Dynamics class, the students are given a month to plan their wedding. It must be complete with flowers, programs, a reception, and cake. Conwill says the goal of the exercise is to build relationships, but the wedding plans are usually the biggest shock for students. She said, "They are always surprised because they think they're just supposed to show up and get married, and they don't realize the amount of time we spend practicing and the cost of everything."
The wedding decorations are provided by non-profit group, PRVO, which gets involved every year to make it a special day for the blushing brides to be. And today's 5th period brides, Lexi Baker and Meagan Blackwell, agreed that the exercise is fun, but it also taught them a little bit more about marriage and relationships. Blackwell said, "We learn about healthy relationships and how to keep a healthy relationship with others and your marriage partners." And Baker chimed in, "We learned what not to do at a wedding and how to have fun!"
The mock wedding ceremony was comprised of a real wedding party, rings, and vows, and each couple sealed the deal with a hug. Then the whole wedding party came back on stage for their first dance, to the Cha Cha Slide. Each student leaves with a new valentine and maybe some cake on their face, but they also walk away with a lesson in responsibility and relationships.